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Lauren Alise Schultz Author-with-a-Capital-A

I write things.
Therefore I am a writer.

At the age of six, I wrote my first book about my favorite flavors of ice cream. Even before that, I loved to read and planned on becoming an author. I earned a B.A. in Written Communications and a Master's degree in Literature, but now I pay the bills by writing grants. I like to think my writing superpowers help to save the world one donation at a time.

I began my original book blog in 2011, but took a hiatus for several years. (All of those reviews will eventually be archived here.)

Now I've created space in my life again to blog about one of the things I love most – literature. On the Lauren Alise Reads blog, you will find reviews of any kind of books that I am currently reading or rereading, from my favorite childhood classics to nonfiction, contemporary mysteries, fantasy, and YA novels. I hope you enjoy!
To view my full writing & photography portfolio, visit

The Borrowers

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
June 5, 2024

I have always been fascinated by dollhouses, especially when I was a child and even now as an adult.  They are each like perfect little individual worlds, with their Victorian settees and tea sets, little lamps that light up, and tiny embroidered pillows. Everything seems so much more charming when it is in miniature, and with a dollhouse, you are able to explore the world of another family in a way that you are unabl...

Boy Roald Dahl


Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
June 3, 2024

In You’ve Got Mail, one of my favorite movies, Meg Ryan plays a Manhattan Children’s bookstore owner whose shop is a treasured part of their neighborhood until a chain store moves in around the corner and puts her out of business. Ryan’s character is a sweet, whimsical woman who holds a reading hour for the children in her shop; dressing up in a princess hat and calling herself the Storybook Lady, one Sa...

Mycroft Holmes

Mycroft Holmes

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 31, 2024

I admit that I picked up Mycroft Holmes out of sheer curiosity to see what kind of mystery novel basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had written. I was more than a little incredulous. Could the record-setting six-time NBA MVP really be a decent author as well? But as I was starting the novel, I googled Abdul-Jabbar and skimmed his Wikipedia page, which further piqued my interest. Prior to publishing his thre...


The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Volume 1

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 29, 2024

Right around the time that I started reading The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume One: The Pox Party, I found an excellent article written by Jerry Griswold titled, “The American Revolution in Young Adult Novels.” The article discusses the ways which history textbooks and young adult fiction have traditionally portrayed the subject of the American Revolution as a fairly u...


Island of the Blue Dolphins

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 25, 2024

While I was earning my Master’s Degree in Literature, I was assigned to read Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe one semester. I have to admit that it was the only novel that I chose not to finish during my entire graduate school career – I could only take so many of the tedious ledgers and descriptions of the shipwrecked man’s available building supplies. I was so bored that I felt like throwing the book ac...

Graveyard Book 03

The Graveyard Book

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 23, 2024

One dark and horrible night, the man named Jack breaks in to the Dorian house with the intent to murder the entire family. He kills Mr. and Mrs. Dorian and their daughter, but the young baby boy eludes him when he toddles up the hill to the graveyard and into the protective arms of the kindly ghosts Master and Mistress Owens. When the desperate specter of Mrs. Dorian appears to Mistress Owens, begging her to care for t...

World Of Wonders

World of Wonders

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 21, 2024

The full title of Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s volume of short essays is World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments. The title drew me to the book like a powerful magnet, as did the gorgeous illustration on the cover of Monarch butterflies, a Flamingo, a Dancing Frog, a cuddly-looking pink Axolotl, a Vampire Squid, and many other beautiful creatures from around the world. I lo...

Hidden Staircase

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1959)

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 20, 2024

Back before cell phones existed and women were apt to sit anxiously at home by the phone waiting for news, Nancy Drew went zipping through her Midwestern town in her sporty blue convertible. She would be leaving the scene of a burglary or a supposedly haunted house and going to the local police station – to deliver the evidence she had found in person. Refreshingly, the police appreciated her independent, take-charge...

Hidden Staircase Original

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1930)

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 20, 2024

Note: this is a review of the ORIGINAL version of The Hidden Staircase, published in 1930. Want to know the plot differences between this story and the revised version that was published in 1959? Check out The Hidden Staircase Wikipedia article.

In The Secret of the Old Clock, the first volume of Mil...

Disney Bio

Walt Disney: the Triumph of the American Imagination

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 16, 2024

Walt Disney: the Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler is a very detailed biography of legendary animator and theme-park visionary Walt Disney that I would recommend for readers who are already somewhat familiar with Disney history and are looking for a deep dive. It’s an excellent exploration of one of the most important cultural figures in American history, which is why the book won both the U...

Mandie And The Secret Tunnel

Mandie and the Secret Tunnel

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 15, 2024

It had been something like twenty-five years since I first read the Mandie books by Lois Gladys Leppard when I discovered the series had been published on Kindle. I already remembered some of the characters well, such as Mandie’s handsome friend Joe Woodward, her Uncle Ned the Cherokee Indian, and her kitten Snowball. But as I re-read Mandie and the Secret Tunnel, the first volume in the series, my memory of...


The Horse and His Boy

Review by Lauren Alise Schultz
May 15, 2024

For decades now, Harry Potter and the Twilight series have been prominently stacked in the all the bookstore windows. (What bookstores remain.) These young adult (YA) novels, along with dozens of others, have spurred the ongoing discussion of how adults can and often do enjoy the same novels as their children and teens. Moreover, that discussion has involved debate and moral judgments about whether adults should be rea...

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